Updated: Oct 26, 2021
When I think of oscillations, I think of something going up and down or back and forth. Mathematically, what comes to mind are the trigonometric functions like sine and cosine. Physically, what comes to mind is an object that goes back and forth, like a pendulum or a swing. So, for the most part, most of us are familiar with some type of oscillation or some type of wave. Oscillations, therefore, may be thought of as functions that are quite natural. As children, we have played on a swing set or a seesaw. Most of us, depending on our age, have seen the pendulum swing on a grandfather’s clock or have seen the fair ride that swings back and forth. (I believe one example might be the pirate ship swing.)
What about oscillations in the rigors of life? The highs and lows? The good days and the bad days? The celebrations of life and the eulogies of lives lived? How does one deal with the ebbs and flows of life? Success and failure?
Ecclesiastes tells us clearly that oscillations in life exist.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-9 (NIV)
1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
So, how do we deal with them? The answers are found in Scripture.
Ecclesiastes 3:12-14 (NIV)
12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.
Enjoy life and do good while we live.
Eat and drink and find satisfaction in our labor, which is God’s gift to us. (Genesis 2)
Matthew 5:11-12 (NIV)
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
As believers, recognize that insults and persecution and even being lied on for righteousness’ sake are indicators that you are blessed. Therefore, we should rejoice and be glad knowing that we have a reward awaiting us in heaven and knowing that we are not alone.
Ephesians 6:18 (NIV)
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
Pray always and about any and every thing.
More answers highlighted below.
1 Thessalonians 5:12-24 (NIV) emphasis added
12 Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. 13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. 14 And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, Be Patient with everyone. 15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good, 22 reject every kind of evil.
23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.
Philippians 4:4-8 (NIV) emphasis added
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Rejoice no matter what!
Be gentle to all.
Do not be anxious about anything, take it all to God in prayer with thanksgiving.
Although bad things might be happening, THINK about the good stuff: what’s true, what’s noble, what’s right, what’s pure, what’s lovely, what’s admirable!